About a month ago, Rouslan Toumaniantz, a well known and sometimes notorious Belgium-based tattoo artist (of Tattoo Box in Kortrijk), and Lesya, a designer living at the time in Saransk, a city in central Russia started talking via chat (Rouslan speaks fluent Russian) and realized they had a lot in common, and quickly began falling head over heels in love.
All posts tagged News
About a month ago, Rouslan Toumaniantz, a well known and sometimes notorious Belgium-based tattoo artist (of Tattoo Box in Kortrijk), and Lesya, a designer living at the time in Saransk, a city in central Russia started talking via chat (Rouslan speaks fluent Russian) and realized they had a lot in common, and quickly began falling head over heels in love.
(Phys.org)—Taiwan-based Macronix has found a solution for a weakness in flash memory fadeout. A limitation of flash memory is simply that eventually it cannot be used; the more cells in the memory chips are erased, the less useful to store data. The write-erase cycles degrade insulation; eventually the cell fails. “Flash wears out after being programmed and erased about 10,000 times,” said the IEEE Spectrum. Engineers at Macronix have a solution that moves flash memory over to a new life. They propose a “self-healing” NAND flash memory solution that can survive over 100 million cycles. Ads by Google Roark Management – Computer Support & Repair Small Business Technology Solutions – www.RoarkInc.com News of their findings appears in the IEEE Spectrum, discussing flash memory’s limitations and the Taiwan company’s solution. Macronix is a manufacturer in the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) market, with a NOR Flash, NAND Flash, and ROM products. Before their solution announcement, though, many engineers inside and outside of Macronix were aware of a life-giving workaround: heat. The snag is that applying heat was not found to be practical. As the Macronix team put it, the “long baking time is impractical for real time operation.” Although subjecting the cells to high heat could return memory, the process was problematic; the entire memory chip would need heating for hours at around 250 °C. They redesigned a flash memory chip to include onboard heaters to anneal small groups of memory cells. Applying a brief jolt of heat to a very restricted area within the chip (800 degrees C) returns the cell to a “good” state. They said that the process does not have to be run all that often. According to project member Hang‑Ting Lue, the annealing can be done infrequently and on one sector at a time while the device is inactive but still connected to the power source. It would not drain a cellphone battery, he added. Macronix estimates that the flash memory cells could beat the 10,000 cycle limit by lasting for as much as for 100 million cycles but a commercial product is not imminent. Instead, Macronix will present their approach—very high temperature in a very short time— this month at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) from December 10 to 12 in San Francisco. This is the forum for presenting breakthroughs in semiconductor and electronic device technology. Lue observed that in coming up with the approach, his team would not be able to lay claim to any new physics principle. “We could have done this ten years ago.” He said it took merely a leap of imagination into a different “regime.” For their upcoming IEEE presentation, they said they propose and demonstrate a novel self-healing flash, where a high temperature (>800°C), and short time annealing are generated by a built-in heater. “We discover that a BE-SONOS charge-trapping NAND Flash device can be quickly annealed within a few milliseconds,” they said. Their presentation is titled “Radically Extending the Cycling Endurance of Flash Memory (to > 100M Cycles) by Using Built-in Thermal Annealing to Self-heal the Stress-Induced Damage.” The authors are H.-T. Lue, P.-Y. Du, C.-P. Chen, W.-C. Chen, C.-C. Hsieh, Y.-H. Hsiao, Y.-H. Shih, and C.-Y. Lu.
A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death today after falling into the African painted dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.
Pittsburgh police Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said the boy’s 34-year-old mother placed the child in a standing position on a wooden railing overlooking the enclosure.
“Almost immediately after that he lost his balance, fell down off the railing into the actual pit and he was immediately attacked by 11 dogs,” Lt. Kraus said.
The incident occurred at 11:48 a.m. at the Highland Park complex, according to an emergency dispatch supervisor. The zoo was shut down within a half-hour of the incident and will remain closed indefinitely.
Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said at a news conference shortly after the incident that the child fell over the wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display. A zoo spokeswoman and police said the wooden railing is 4 feet in height and the lower mesh barrier is 11 feet 4 inches above the open exhibit space.
“The screams just kept coming and coming: ‘Someone help. Someone has to do something,’” recounted Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo today with her boyfriend Nick Kramer, 16, of Bethel Park.
Lt. Kraus said zoo personnel responded within minutes. The first personnel on scene were able to lure seven of the dogs away from the victim and into a secure and separated area. A second set of personnel began “throwing objects and some other techniques that they use” to secure three more dogs.
He said the final dog, which was acting very aggressively toward the victim and zoo personnel, was shot multiple times by two Pittsburgh police officers and died.
Lt. Kraus said none of the people who observed the child fall into the enclosure made an attempt to go after him. The news release from zoo officials noted that keepers attempted to enter the yard but were unable to reach the child.
One ineffective technique used by zoo personnel to lure the animals away from the child was to fire “dummy tranquilizer rounds,” Lt. Kraus said.
Information released from the zoo indicated that “unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding.”
The child was pronounced dead at the scene 12 p.m.
The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo. Lt. Kraus said it would be inappropriate to speculate on potential charges at this time and the bureau will continue to investigate to determine if anything could have been prevented.
Police said the boy and his mother are from Pleasant Hills and were visiting the zoo with relatives, an adult and another child, at the time of the incident.
Ms. Cinti described a horrifying scene that lasted a little more than 5 minutes but seemed like hours.
“We were on our way to the polar bear exhibit when we heard the most horrible piercing screams. … Someone was begging for help, asking someone to do something,” she said. The couple ran back in the direction they came from, passing the bear exhibits. The screams continued.
As they reached the painted dog exhibit, she saw a small crowd of distressed onlookers. “One woman with a baby in the stroller was screaming that someone needed to do something,” Ms. Cinti said. She said she could see the little boy’s apparently lifeless body lying on the hill inside the exhibit. “There were three dogs: one at his head, one on the left side of his neck and another one down by his leg. … A [zoo employee] got there and hopped over a fence with a rake and he was banging … trying to distract the dogs but they wouldn’t move,” she said.
Ms. Cinti, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, tracked the time frame with her cell phone, saying she made a call at 11:49 a.m. when she and her boyfriend first headed toward the commotion. She said her cell phone shows that the call was ended five minutes and five seconds later, when a half-dozen zoo employees arrived and dispersed the crowd.
Bart DePasquale, who was at the zoo today with his two children for a birthday party, was near the tiger exhibit when he heard screams coming from the direction of the African painted dogs exhibit.
“People were yelling ‘Get away,’ and ‘Stay away,’ and it wasn’t just one person, it was an entire group of people,” said Mr. DePasquale, 29, of Fox Chapel. “The screams sounded heavily distressed and the people were using profanity. They were shouting to zoo employees.”
Mr. DePasquale and Ms. Cinti said they were told to go inside the nearest buildings where they were kept there for about a half hour.
“We were locked down in the building and told to stay inside. … We thought it was a problem with one of the animals that got loose. Then we were told it was an incident with the wild dogs and that a child had been hurt.”
When patrons were told the zoo was closed and they needed to leave, Mr. DePasquale said, “On the way out, I saw a mother who was distressed and crying and other people who couldn’t even talk about it. … People and anyone who had been close were almost in tears, were walking out glassy-eyed. That’s when multiple people told me the dogs attacked a young child.”
Ms. Baker said the zoo initially declared a “code blue,” meaning an accident involving a human had occurred. That was followed with a “code red,” meaning that there was a serious human emergency.
Ms. Baker said no decision has been made about the future of the exhibit.
The African painted dog exhibit debuted after the October 2009 birth of the pups. A surrogate mutt was drafted into service for the nine pups after their natural mother died of a ruptured uterus. In the spring of this year, nine of the 11 painted dogs escaped a section of their enclosure causing a brief shutdown of the zoo.
Ms. Baker said at that time on May 5 that the dogs got into a 1.5-acre “backup yard” not visible to the public, but the dogs were not out of their exhibit.
African painted dogs are an endangered species.
In September, the zoo announced that it had again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums after a review of its animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety.
AZA is a nonprofit organization with a team of professionals that inspect and review each zoo or aquarium seeking accreditation. Currently 224 facilities have been recognized and approved by the organization, including eight in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh zoo has been recognized by AZA since 1986.The accreditation commission evaluates every zoo and aquarium to determine if they meet accepted standards for safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, animal management and care, health and nutrition, veterinary programs, involvement in conservation and research and education programs.
Read more: http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12309/1274415-53.stm#ixzz2BItIqZcU
A quick thought about the Ozzie Guillen situation. I don’t know how anyone can be offended about another persons opinion of someone else. So what ? he killed people now cant like him ? I mean, you can argue that it doesn’t say much about me as a person if I decide to support such a notorious figure, but that too would be an opinion. For arguments sake, let’s say you were childhood friends with Hitler. I mean close friends, like ya moms knew each other , you would go over each others house and play SEGA, sleep over and eat Totinos pizzas. Then something happens to this kid, he slips shaving and ends up with a lil mustache and a Jewish bully steals his bike or whatever and he decides to kill everyone. As his childhood friend, you not gonna be happy that he’s killing everyone, but are you just gonna end your friendship because of that ? It’s not like he killed you, and he still sends you tickets to events and what not since he’s famous now. I’m just saying, there’s a lot of fucked up people in our own families that we still support. Look at this pic of Lebron and Wade…. their excuse ” He sends us cigars” – AC
Gravy-Wrestling Model Suffers Horrific Facial Injuries After Being Hit With Monkey Wrench When She Interrupted a Friend Having Sex
A model who became a champion gravy wrestler suffered serious eye damage after being hit in the face with a monkey wrench.
Elisa Sampson, 31, was hit in the face by her ‘best friend’ Sabina English, after arriving back at her home in Rossendale, Lancashire, and finding the single mother having sex with another friend on her sofa.
When kick boxer Elisa interrupted the two with a shout of: ‘What are you doing’, laundry worker English jumped up and hit her in the face with the garage tool, which was lying nearby on the floor.
The victim received two fractures around her right eye and a gashed upper lid, which needed surgery and 17 stitches to repair it and which resulted in a ‘deformity’ on the eyelid and long-term vision problems.
At Burnley Crown Court, Lancashire, English admitted grievous bodily harm and was jailed for two years.
She was also barred from contacting Elisa for two years under a restraining order.
The fight occurred last October, a year after blonde Elisa won the 2010 World Gravy Wrestling Championship, in which she wrestled other women and men in 2,000 litres of Bisto outside a pub near her home in Rossendale.
Miss Martine Snowden, prosecuting, said Elisa, English and Paul Greenwood who were all friends, were at the wrestler’s flat enjoying a drinks party.
Trouble began when Elisa Sampson went into her living room and found English and Paul Greenwood having sex.
Miss Snowden said: ‘Elisa was cross with what she saw, unhappy about their behaviour in her lounge and asked: “What are you doing?”
‘But English jumped up and Paul Greenwood got up and grabbed the victim around the throat and pushed her into the doorway.’
English’s brother who was also at the flat punched Elisa in the face a number of times.
The prosecutor added: ‘The victim was not really able to say what happened to her after that, but fought back to some extent and ended up on the floor in the bedroom, in pain and aware her eye was seriously injured.’
The other three fled and Elisa, who was unable to see out of her eye, sought help from a neighbour who called an ambulance. She was taken to hospital, X-rayed and had surgery.
English, of Stacksteads, near Rochdale, was arrested later but made no comment in police interview. She had a conviction for battery from nine years ago.
In mitigation her counsel Ken Hind told the hearing: ‘This is her best friend. They were very close. Socially, they did everything together.
‘Unfortunately, they had been drinking. It would appear everybody who had been there had been drinking all night.
‘Mr Hind said after she struck Ms Sampson, English turned up at Greenwood’s home, not wearing any trousers or shoes, half naked, with a towel around her.
‘She had left behind her phone, handbag, shoes and other things at her friend’s flat.
‘That would clearly indicate the state she had got herself into during the course of that night.
‘She does say she doesn’t drink very much and doesn’t know why she was drinking that night, but clearly she had consumed a great deal on that particular occasion.’
Mr Hind said it would appear English and Paul Greenwood ‘got very friendly and were about to make love to each other,’ when Elisa Sampson had come back into the room, protested and was really angry.
He said Paul Greenwood started the violence. English picked up a wrench off the floor and hit the victim once with it, with ‘devastating consequences’ for her.
Wrestlemania: Competitors challenged each other to matches in rings fulls of Bisto
The barrister said Elisa Sampson was a kick boxer and a World Gravy Wrestling Champion and was clearly ‘not somebody who is not able to handle herself.’
Mr Hind added that English had shown genuine remorse.
He went on: ‘This is a lady who is devastated about the infliction of these injuries. She has reduced her drinking.’
The barrister told the court the defendant was the sole carer for her children.
He added: ‘She is devoted to her children. She supports them. She looks after them.’
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told English he accepted there was a lack of premeditation, he he was dealing with her on the basis she at least believed she needed to defend herself and the incident was isolated.
He added: ‘I also take into account you admitted the blow with the weapon when the prosecution may have found it difficult to establish who did it.’
English’s brother Amjad Hussain, 27, who had repeatedly punched Elisa was given a 12 month sentence after he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.
Paul Greenwood, also of Stacksteads, was earlier sent to prison for three months after being convicted of common assault.
In the annual wrestling championships at the Rose ‘n’ Bowl pub in Stacksteads, Bisto provided 440 gallons of gravy past its best before date for the contest, which raises money for the East Lancashire Hospice.
Local fire crews are called in to hose down the participants after their bouts in the wrestling ring. Wrestlers travel from all over the UK to compete.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A central Missouri teenager who confessed to strangling, cutting and stabbing a 9-year-old girl because she wanted to know how it felt to kill someone was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Alyssa Bustamante, 18, pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 slaying of Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins, a small rural town west of Jefferson City.
Bustamante had been charged with first-degree murder and by pleading guilty to the lesser charges she avoided a trial and the possibility of spending her life in an adult prison with no chance of release.
Bustamante was 15 years old when she confessed to strangling Elizabeth, repeatedly stabbing her in the chest and slicing the girl’s throat. She led police to the shallow grave where she had concealed Elizabeth’s body under a blanket of leaves in the woods behind their neighborhood.
The teenager’s defense attorneys had argued for a sentence less than life in prison, saying Bustamante’s use of the antidepressant Prozac had made her more prone to violence. They said she had suffered from depression for years and once attempted suicide by overdosing on painkillers.
But prosecutors sought a longer sentence. They noted that Bustamante had dug two graves several days in advance, and that on the evening of the killing had sent her younger sister to lure Elizabeth outside with an invitation to play. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Rice testified that the teenager told him “she wanted to know what it felt like” to kill someone. Prosecutors also cited journal entries in which Bustamante described the exhilaration of killing Elizabeth.
“I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead,” Bustamante wrote in her diary, which was read in court by a handwriting expert. “I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this’ feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.”
Bustamante then headed off to a youth dance at her church while a massive search began for the missing girl.
“Early 2011″ – “The FBI contacted New Zealand Police in early 2011 with a request to assist with their investigation into the Mega Conspiracy.” said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of OFCANZ
28-OCT-2011 – MegaUpload labelled a ‘rogue’ site by MPAA.
The MPAA has submitted a new list of “notorious websites” to the Office of the US Trade Representative, sites that are all in danger of becoming the target of planned U.S. legislation. The list contains the most-visited torrent sites including The Pirate Bay, file-hosting and linking sites such as MegaUpload, and Russia’s Facebook equivalent, VKontakte. Interestingly, file-hosting service RapidShare is absent from the filing.
09-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload releases a music video with RIAA artists endorsing MegaUpload.
MegaUpload is currently being portrayed by the MPAA and RIAA as one of the world’s leading rogue sites. But top music stars including P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West disagree and are giving the site their full support in a brand new song. TorrentFreak caught up with the elusive founder of MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, who shrugged off “this rogue nonsense” and told us he wants content owners to get paid.
10-DEC-2011 – UMG doesn’t like the video. Has it removed from YouTube.
Earlier today, Megaupload released a pop video featuring mainstream artists who endorse the cyberlocker service. News of the controversial Mega Song even trended on Twitter, but has now been removed from YouTube on copyright grounds by Universal Music. Kim Dotcom says that Megaupload owns everything in the video, and that the label has engaged in dirty tricks in an attempt to sabotage their successful viral campaign.
12-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload files suit against UMG on the grounds that UMG cannot remove the content as MegaUpload holds the copyright, not UMG.
File-hosting service Megaupload has told TorrentFreak that it will sue Universal for wrongfully taking down its content from YouTube. Universal took action Friday to remove a Megaupload-produced pop video which featured leading artists singing the cyberlocker service’s praises. The move has also prompted the company to enter the SOPA debate, with a call for like-minded people to join forces and fight for an Internet without censorship.
16-DEC-2011 – UMG says “So what? We can take down whatever we want!” and “You can’t touch us. This isn’t DMCA. We didn’t take it down because of copyright. We took it down because we can.”
A week ago today, Megaupload’s now-famous Mega Song was on its way to becoming a viral hit, only to be cut down from YouTube by a Universal Music takedown demand. Following the filing of a Megaupload lawsuit the song is back online, but Universal are standing firm. You can’t touch us on DMCA grounds, the label says in a new filing, adding it can take down any material, even if it doesn’t infringe their rights.
21-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload labelled a “rogue” site by the USTR.
The US Government has classified some of the largest websites on the Internet as examples of sites which sustain global piracy. The list released by the United States Trade Representative draws exclusively on input from rightsholders. It includes popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, file-hosting service Megaupload and Russia’s leading social network VKontakte.
28-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload wants an explaination from UMG.
In their 18-page response filing at the US District Court for Northern Californian earlier this month, not once did Universal Music say why they forced YouTube to remove Megaupload’s Mega Song. Since that’s what the dispute between the two companies is all about, that was a pretty strange event. In a new filing, Megaupload makes it clear that it isn’t going to be brushed aside. The cyberlocker wants answers, and it will dig deep to get them.
19-JAN-2012 – MegaUpload shut down by Feds
MegaUpload, one of the largest file-sharing sites on the Internet, has been shut down by federal prosecutors in Virginia. The site’s founder Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested by the police in New Zealand at the request of US authorities. MegaVideo, the streaming site belonging to same company, and a total of 18 domains connected to the Mega company were seized and datacenters in three countries raided.
I saw this at
I dont usually post shit like this.. but wow lol.. How do you trip into a lifeboat ?
The captain of the Italian cruise ship gave a slapstick explanation of how he ended up safely in a lifeboat instead of going down with his ship, saying he tripped and fell into the boat as it was being lowered into the sea, Italian media reported today.
“I had no intention of escaping,” Francesco Schettino, 52, said during his first court hearing Tuesday, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I was helping some passengers put the life boat to sea. At a certain point the mechanism for lowering it, blocked. We had to force it. Suddenly the system unblocked itself and I tripped and I found myself inside the life boat with a number of passengers.”
Once in the lifeboat that was lowered into the sea, Schettino insisted to the court that it was “impossible to go back onboard.”
The captain also reportedly admitted to the court that he lied at one point when he assured officials that he had dropped anchor shortly after the Costa Concordia slammed into a rock to stabilize the luxury liner.
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However a video by the Guardia di Finanza who arrived onsite 10 minutes after the disaster clearly shows that the anchor had not been lowered. Schettino admitted Tuesday that he lied about the anchor, the newspaper reported.
The luxury cruise ship was carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew when it struck rocks Friday evening near Giglio off the coast of Tuscany, during a close pass to shore. At least 11 people were killed in the aftermath when the ship keeled over. Nearly two dozen people are still missing, including an American couple from Minnesota.
Schettino reportedly admitted that he made mistakes that led to the crash and afterwards, but said the ship’s course, including the now-controversial close pass, had been set from the beginning. The cruise line previously said Schettino had made an unauthorized deviation from the programmed route.
Schettino, who is currently under house arrest, is under investigation for potentially causing the wreck by steering into the rocks and then abandoning the panicked passengers for a lifeboat as the ship plunged over on its side. In recorded radio transmissions released Tuesday, Schettino is heard telling Italian Port Authority officials he and other officers abandoned ship.
“And with 100 people still on board, you abandon ship? [expletive],” the Port Authority officer says in response.
Schettino appears to correct himself, saying, “I didn’t abandon any ship… because the ship turned on its side quickly and we were catapulted into the water.”
The recording goes on to show the Port Authority official repeatedly berating Schettino for not going back to the ship to coordinate rescue efforts, and at one point ordering Schettino to “get back on board for [expletive]‘s sake!”
Italians appear divided on how to view the embattled cruise captain.
Some, like Schettino’s neighbor, said he “is a hero who saved over 4,000 people,” Italy’s ANSA news outlet reported. Schettino’s wife said Tuesday her husband made some quick decisions after the initial impact that helped save passenger’s lives.
“It is for this reason that we feel the need to strongly reject any attempt to delegitimize him and ask you to understand his tragedy and personal drama,” Fabiola Russo told reporters Tuesday.
In editorials in Italian newspapers, however, Schettino was heavily criticized, one calling him the “coward captain” and another saying the incident shows the Italian national character with its greatness and “all its shortcomings.”
Online Facebook groups have reportedly emerged on either side of the argument.
On December 22, Aarifa was admitted to Lahore’s CMH hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. On Thursday, doctors said there is no hope for her survival, and that her life support could be switched off ‘at any time’.
Aarifa’s father, Lt Col (Retd) Amjad Karim Randhawa told The Express Tribune that she had suffered an epileptic attack, which caused severe brain and heart damage. Randhawa said “only a miracle will allow my brilliant, genius daughter to live now”.
After the news of Aarifa’s condition emerged, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice and offered economic support to the family, but they have refused to take the money.
When Aarifa, now 16, was given the title of a Microsoft professional as a young child, she visited the company’s headquarters in the US. When she met Bill Gates himself, she had two questions: Why weren’t children allowed to work for Microsoft, and why such few women worked for the organisation.
Her love for technology, however, started long before she was recognised internationally. After discovering computers for the first time at the age of five, she pestered her father for a personal computer, and after that there was no looking back.
Aarifa’s father recalled the year in which his daughter passed the test which enabled her to be declared the youngest professional certified by Microsoft in the world. “When she passed the test at age nine, everyone thought the result was wrong,” he reminisced. She wanted to make software just like Bill Gates, he added. She would say that she wanted to work for children and poor people.
Proudly, he said she came from a ‘low-profile’ family, but she would always say she wanted to study all over the world and then come back to help the people in her village. Her dreams were never for herself alone.
Aarifa’s achievements go far beyond recognition from Microsoft alone. The 16-year-old, a student of Lahore Grammar School’s Paragon campus, has represented Pakistan in various international forums. In 2005, the child prodigy received the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal from the government as well as the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. In addition, she has received the president’s award for Pride of Performance, medals from IT professionals around the world, and also became a brand ambassador for PTCL in 2010.
Her talents however, are versatile. Besides excelling in the field of science and technology, Aarifa also flew a plane at the age of 10.
Aarifa’s life hangs in the balance, and while most have given up hope, her father says: “I am praying and I want everyone to pray for her”. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM THE NEWS DESK)
A Dutch architectural firm has apologized for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The blueprint for the luxury apartment buildings was released last week and shows a structure which juts out at the middle to accommodate pools, restaurants, cafes and a gym.
Relatives of victims of al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States have expressed outrage, according to U.S. media reports, saying the designers have no respect for those that died and branding the design a cheap publicity stunt.
Designer MVRDV said it had not intended to create an image resembling the attacks, and it did not see the resemblance during the design process.
“We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt. It was not our intention,” the company said on its website.
It did not indicate whether it would change the design….
Have you used Ticketmaster in the last 12 years? If so, you can file a claim to receive a share of a long-awaited class action settlement with Ticketmaster for charging excessive and deceptive processing fees.
The Ticketmaster settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit, entitled Curt Schlesinger, et al. v. Ticketmaster, that alleges Ticketmaster’s Order Processing Fees and UPS Expedited Delivery prices of tickets are excessive and deceptive.
The Ticketmaster class action lawsuit claims the company deceived and misled customers into believing that its Order Processing Fee was a pass-through of the amount that UPS charged Ticketmaster for that delivery when it was actually a profit generator for Ticketmaster. The Ticketmaster class action lawsuit also asserts that Ticketmaster’s UPS delivery charges are excessive and deceptive.
Ticketmaster denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to settle the case to avoid ongoing litigation.
The Ticketmaster class action settlement includes all U.S. residents who purchased tickets on Ticketmaster.com between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011 and paid money to Ticketmaster for an Order Processing Fee (OPF) that was not refunded. It also includes a subclass of all Class Members who paid a delivery price for expedited delivery for their tickets via UPS.
The Ticketmaster fee settlement will provide discount codes that can be used for future purchases for U.S. events from Ticketmaster.com. For each transaction you made during the Class Period, you will receive one discount code via email for a $1.50 discount, up to a maximum of 17 codes. The codes may be combined up to a maximum of two credits ($3.00).
Class Members who also fall under the UPS Subclass will also receive one UPS code for $5.00 off expedited delivery fees on purchases from Ticektmaster.com for each transaction they made using UPS delivery of their tickets during the Class Period, up to 17 transactions.
All Class Members will automatically receive these benefits from the Ticketmaster fee class action settlement via email at the addresses associated with their Ticketmaster account if the settlement is approved at the May 29, 2012 Final Approval Hearing. If you have not received a Ticketmaster Class Action Settlement email yet and believe you are a Class Member, contact the Settlement Administrator at email@example.com to update your email address.
The deadline to opt out of the Ticketmaster settlement is February 16, 2012.
More information on your rights in the Ticketmaster Fee Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found at www.TicketFeeLitigation.com.
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AEC) have found evidence that certain fungi possess another talent beyond their ability to decompose matter: the capacity to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring their growth.
Detailing the research in Public Library of Science ONE, AEC’s Arturo Casadevall said his interest was piqued five years ago when he read about how a robot sent into the still-highly-radioactive Chernobyl reactor had returned with samples of black, melanin-rich fungi that were growing on the ruined reactor’s walls. “I found that very interesting and began discussing with colleagues whether these fungi might be using the radiation emissions as an energy source,” explained Casadevall.
Casadevall and his co-researchers then set about performing a variety of tests using several different fungi. Two types – one that was induced to make melanin (Crytococcus neoformans) and another that naturally contains it (Wangiella dermatitidis) – were exposed to levels of ionizing radiation approximately 500 times higher than background levels.
Both of these melanin-containing species grew significantly faster than when exposed to standard background radiation.
“Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum – ionizing radiation – to benefit the fungi containing it,” said co-researcher Ekaterina Dadachova.
Investigating further, the researchers measured the electron spin resonance signal after melanin was exposed to ionizing radiation and found that radiation interacts with melanin to alter its electron structure. This, they believe, is an essential step for capturing radiation and converting it into a different form of energy to make food. Until now, melanin’s biological role in fungi – if any – had been a mystery. Interestingly, the melanin in fungi is no different chemically from the melanin in our skin, leading Casadevall to speculate that melanin could be providing energy to skin cells.
And radiation-munching fungi could be on the menu for future space missions. “Since ionizing radiation is prevalent in outer space, astronauts might be able to rely on fungi as an inexhaustible food source on long missions or for colonizing other planets,” noted Dadachova.
Hong Kong – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted the mainstream media, Washington, banks and the Internet itself as he addressed journalists in Hong Kong on Monday via videolink from house arrest in England.
The Internet itself had become “the most significant surveillance machine that we have ever seen,” Assange said in reference to the amount of information people give about themselves online. (photo: Andrew Winning, Reuters) Fresh from accepting a top award for journalism from the prestigious Walkley Foundation in his native Australia on Sunday, Assange spoke to the News World Summit in Hong Kong before keeping a regular appointment with the police.
He defended his right to call himself a journalist and said WikiLeaks’ next “battle” would be to ensure that the Internet does not turn into a vast surveillance tool for governments and corporations.
“Of course I’m a goddamn journalist,” he responded with affected frustration when a moderator of the conference asked if he was a member of the profession.
He said his written record spoke for itself and argued that the only reason people kept asking him if he was a journalist was because the United States’ government wanted to silence him.
“The United States government does not want legal protection for us,” he said, referring to a US Justice Department investigation into his whistle-blower website for releasing secret diplomatic and military documents.
The former hacker criticised journalists and the mainstream media for becoming too cosy with the powerful and secretive organisations they were supposed to be holding to account.
In a 40-minute address, he also accused credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard of illegally cutting WikiLeaks off from funding under a secret deal with the White House.
“Issues that should be decided in open court are being decided in back rooms in Washington,” he said.
The Internet itself had become “the most significant surveillance machine that we have ever seen,” Assange said in reference to the amount of information people give about themselves online.
“It’s not an age of transparency at all … the amount of secret information is more than ever before,” he said, adding that information flows in but is not flowing out of governments and other powerful organisations.
“I see that really is our big battle. The technology gives and the technology takes away,” he added.
The anti-secrecy activist then help up a handwritten sign from an aide telling him to “stop” talking or he would be late for a mandatory appointment with police.
Assange, 40, is under house arrest in England pending the outcome of a Swedish extradition request over claims of rape and sexual assault made by two women. He says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
In August 2010, while searching for an officer’s stolen handgun, Harrisburg police seized tens of thousands of dollars in cash from Antoine Black’s home on Logan Street.
Black is claiming in a federal lawsuit that the cops should have left that money alone, especially since they didn’t find the missing gun in his house or charge him with a crime.
money.jpgThe Patriot-NewsAntoine Black contends that nearly $43,000 was seized and that he received only $28,980 back.
He is arguing that the seizure of the cash, which authorities unsuccessfully sought to forfeit by attempting to link it to drug dealing, violated his constitutional rights.
The 42-year-old Black also claims authorities didn’t return all the money they took after an arbitration board appointed by Dauphin County Court rebuffed the forfeiture request in March. He contends that nearly $43,000 was seized and that he received only $28,980 back.
City spokesman Robert Philbin declined to discuss Black’s U.S. Middle District Court case.
District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr., whose office lost the forfeiture action against Black’s money, insisted that officers had solid legal grounds to confiscate the cash.
Evidence of drug activity found in the home justified the seizure, even though criminal charges weren’t filed against Black after the August 2010 search, Marsico said.
County court records show that at the time of the search, Black was facing an unrelated drug possession charge filed by city police in connection with a June 2010 traffic stop.
Marsico said the amount of money seized from Black’s home was over-estimated initially and that the $28,980 figure is accurate. All cash that was taken was given back to Black after the arbitration ruling, he said.
In his federal suit against the city and its police, Black claims police searched his home for the police officer’s stolen gun based on incorrect information from an informant. The gun in question, plus other police gear, had been taken from the officer’s parked car.
During the search, police took $13,940 from a purse in his home and $29,000 that was in a Tastykake box on the third floor, Black claims.
Black’s lawyer in the federal suit, Robert S. Mirin, said he had not asked Black why he had so much cash in the house.
“He feels he is owed this money,” Mirin said of Black’s reason for suing. “He feels there are civil rights issues also.”
Black, who seeks more than $75,000 in damages, contends in the suit that his family was “greatly upset” by what he argues was an unjustified search and seizure.
Marsico said the money seizure was justified because cocaine residue was found in Black’s home during the failed hunt for the gun.
The forfeiture petition his office filed for the cash indicated that such residue was detected on a scale and in plastic bags in the house. Marsico said the cash itself also tested positive for drug residue.
Officers therefore had legal grounds to impound Black’s money even though the search warrant was only issued regarding a search for the stolen police pistol, Marsico said. In such cases, he said, officers can react to illegal activity they see that is not specified in a warrant.
The presence of that much cash in Black’s house would not alone have been enough to justify its seizure since it isn’t illegal to have large amounts of currency in your abode, said Wesley Oliver, an associate professor at Widener Law School’s Susquehanna Township campus.
Even drug residue on the bills wouldn’t have provided enough justification, he said, because “30 [percent] to 40 percent of the cash in America is tainted with cocaine.”
However, Oliver said the cash seizure could be justified by other evidence of illegal drug activity at the site.
Black is pursuing his federal suit while battling the criminal charges in his Dauphin County Court drug possession case.
In that case, Harrisburg police claim they pulled him over for a traffic violation and found 30 bags of crack cocaine in a car he was driving. Black is scheduled for trial in the drug case in December.